I have been practicing massage therapy in Ottawa for thirty years, specializing in Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) and Craniosacral Therapy (CST). I graduated from Kikkawa College in 1989 and have since completed further training in the following areas: Craniosacral Therapy with John Upledger of the Upledger Institute; Integrative Manual Therapy with Sharon Weiselfish-Giammatteo; Visceral Manipulation training.
Integrative Manual Therapy is a collection of tools that investigates the subtle mechanical tensions that can develop in different body systems, such as organs, nerves, fascia, and joints. I draw on an appropriate tool to address the lesions in those systems which limit the tissue's flexibility and functionality. These tools include craniosacral therapy (if the limitations mainly affect the central nervous system), neural tissue tension techniques (to address problems in the peripheral system), or visceral techniques if there are tensions around the organs. My specialty within this field is addressing the stresses and impacts that manifest or originate in the head and spine through craniosacral therapy. CST is a way to address the slight mechanical perturbations that develop in the environment of the head and spine. Craniosacral work can be most useful addressing issues such as low back pain, concussions, chronic headaches, or migraines.
The body prioritizes various threats to its different systems, creating a hierarchy of tissues in the body. Some tissues are more important than others. Consider the lowly muscle. Muscles may be overused to the point of soreness but more often they tighten as a protective reflex when more important tissues are under stress; the goal becomes to disarm the reflexes, identify and address the distress of the most significant system. My goal is to assess the lesions that are preoccupying the body the most and hopefully put them at ease.
Imagine putting a clothespin in a large wrinkle of clothing by your elbow; it would be instantly much harder to stretch out your arm, let alone throw a ball or reach the top shelf. Let's say that there are three main kinds of stresses: mechanical, chemical, and emotional. All three take up residence in our body and the effect of those cumulative stresses is like putting clothes pins through our clothing (tissues). The goal is to find the clothes pins then shrink them or take them out of the tissue so that they aren’t creating so much drag on the rest of the body’s systems.